Some readers of this site might know me from when I worked at People's Co-op, or was an Indymedia activist. These days I've become what I guess you'd call an "urban farmer". I garden a set of plots around the City of Roses, mostly in Southeast. Lacking both a driver's license and a desire to drive, I do most traveling, harvesting, hauling, etc., by bicycle. Occasionally, I'll get help from a friend with a truck to move a tiller or something, but that's not too common. I am supporting myself this way by using the CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) model. So far I've been in no danger of becoming money-rich, and I've really been enjoying the endeavor! |
Urban agriculture is much more common in "developing" countries where car-use is not as wide-spread. According to the documentary "The Power of Community", which is about "how Cuba survived Peak Oil", Havana raises 50% of its own vegetables within its own city limits. Looking at things that way, Portland has a long way to go! I doubt if it's 5% here, even at the height of summer gardening. Perhaps that percentage will increase as economic and social conditions change. Maybe it'll "have to". We'll see.
For those who are curious, I will be having an event about the urban farming I've been doing around here. Attendees will be treated to a slide show of bounty and be made privy to the details of running a business like this, from property-acquisition to planning & planting, financial budgeting and harvesting & processing. Questions/Answers/Discussion will feature prominently. (People can also find out how to sign up for the CSA's 2008 produce season if they are so inclined.)
Wed., Jan. 30th, 7-9 pm
People's Food Co-op
3029 SE 21st Ave. (1 block north of Powell)
Thanks for reading, and hope to see you there. Feel free to contact me with any questions/comments/etc.
P.S. Here's an article from the indymedia archives about earlier agricultural efforts of mine here in town:
"The joys of urban gardening: A porch garden in Portland produces delicious bounty"